Friday, September 30, 2016


There was a time when you had to go get your digital camera in order to take a picture. Cellphone cameras have changed that, but that doesn’t mean that the convenience of having a camera built-in makes the pictures being shot better. By definition a cellphone’s camera is more prone to shaking — resulting in significant or subtle blurring — due to the phone’s vertical design and having to press at a touchscreen “button”.  And let’s not forget that frequent use of the cell phone camera can be a drain on the battery and storage space as well. But rather than dwell on the many disadvantages of using a cell phone camera, lets instead look at the many advantages found in using a digital camera instead.

The Image Sensor and Resolution

A digital camera’s image sensor “sees” what is being aimed at and translates that into a digital file (i.e., image). The resolution of this final image is a factor of the sensor’s physical size and innate abilities: affecting how colors and detail is captured and displayed when the image is viewed. This makes it possible for the digital camera’s sensor to be of superior quality and for the digital file to be physically large in size; resulting in a better image.

The Camera Lens
Digital cameras often come with interchangeable lenses (mimicking the good old days of film cameras) and so offer the options of changing the “view” that is shot (for example, the all-encompassing fisheye lens or a telephoto). This allows the one shooting to best suit the lens for the type of image being photographed. A digital camera’s lens can also come with varying F/stops which affect the amount of light entering the camera. This variability in F/stop capabilities affects depth of field and also works at ensuring that the image doesn’t suffer from being too dark (masking detail) and so unacceptable.

In the case of those digital cameras with fixed lenses (being variable zooms going from wide angle to telephoto), another positive factor results from the optical zoom capabilities. Optical zoom means that the lens is able to focus “closer” on a far off distance without degrading the quality of the final image (that’s why you see terms such as “3X optical zoom” or “5X” etc.). Cell phone camera’s offer poor optical zoom and rely on digital zoom which, while sounding impressive at 8X or even higher multipliers, ends up degrading the image being shot. Digital zoom affects the overall focus, contrast levels and detail. This is far less likely to happen with digital cameras, as they area able to higher numbers of the more desirable optical zoom.

The Camera Controls
Digital cameras, like that of a cell phone camera, offer automated features such as focusing the image. But a digital camera also offers manual control over the entire image, from adjusting the color based on light sources or how fast the shutter “speed” is to altering the image through built-in filtration options. It’s also easier to hold and shoot a camera because it’s designed to do just that — in the case of a cell phone camera, all the controls had to be integrated so as to not cause issues when using the phone (as example, the lack of a “hard” camera button in leu of a software one).

Today’s digital cameras give the best of both worlds: they provide the digital technologies that let you just aim and shoot with precision, while also allowing manual control and creativity over how the picture will end up looking. When it comes to shooting for fun or to capture important memories like family events, a digital camera will always excel.


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